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What is the meaning of "filthy language"?

What was meant by filthy language when Paul wrote this? Is understanding context taken from Paul's day or from the translators' understanding of its current meaning?

Colossians 3:8

NKJV - 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

Clarify Share Report Asked February 14 2016 Mini Michael Seymour

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
The verse being asked about is the only verse in which the Greek word in question (transliterated as "aiskrologia" in the Latin alphabet) occurs. It comes from the root words "aiskros", meaning "shameful" or "base", and "logos", meaning "word". Various Bible translations render this word differently in English, including the following:

filthy language
dirty language
obscene language
obscene talk
foul language
abusive speech
filthy communication
filthy talking
obscene speech
impure speech
filthy talk
shameful speaking
foul-mouthed abuse.

It seems that this Greek word does not specifically indicate taking the name of God in vain (which is condemned separately in the verse as "blasphemy"), but would encompass any words or expressions that would generally or commonly be regarded as vulgar, or not suitable for use in formal writing, or in normal or "polite" conversation.

Of course, Jesus also condemned (Matthew 5:22) the use of words or terms such as "fool" or "raca" (which, as far as I can determine, was a word essentially meaning "empty-headed"), so even such generic terms of abuse should not be applied to others by Christians, even if they might not normally be considered vulgar.

February 14 2016 3 responses Vote Up Share Report


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